The world number one will be seeking his first title at the event
Andy Murray is in fine form after winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, comfortably beating Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in straight sets (6-3, 6-2)
It was the Scot's 45th career title and first piece of silverware of the season.
This is now his eighth straight victory over the Spaniard. Murray picked up a handy $523,330 in prize money. He also picked up another 500 Emirates ATP Ranking points to solidify his place as world number one.
Picture by: Kamran Jebreili/AP/Press Association Images
Speaking to the ATP World Tour after the match Murray said, “It's nice to win and I played much better as the match went on. I started a little bit slow, but I was solid. I wasn't afraid to attack his forehand side. He's got one of the best forehands, but I tried to move him around the court as much as I could.”
“I defended pretty well and moved well. I served a lot better as the match went on. It was obviously good to win the first tournament here.”
Murray, who lost to Roger Federer in the 2012 final, came extremely close to defeat in his quarter final match against Philipp Kohlschreiber. The world number one was forced to fight off a career high seven match points.
The Scot will be looking to continue his fine form in Indian Wells as he will look to win his first title of this event. He has made the final once (2009) where he only managed to win three games against 14 time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal.
Speaking ahead of Indian Wells, Murray said, “The thing is, the conditions are totally different there, Indian Wells is a very slow court with fast balls and the other way around here, fast court with quite slow balls. So, obviously I have to get there and adjust to that. And because winning this week is fantastic, obviously winning matches builds confidence."
The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells will begin on March 9th. Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Wawrinka will be among the top names taking place in the event.